T Nation

Training With The Pros


I was talking with a boxing trainer recently, a friend of a friend, who trains professionl boxers. He was telling me that it was always better to train with pros than to train with amateurs. He seemed quite upset that the ABAE insist that he has to tell everyone who wants to train at his gym that he is a professional trainer and therefore if they train with him they may not compete in amateur competition unless they transfer to an amateur club.

He was adamant that someone just starting out in the sport would be far better taking private lessons with him and then training with his professional fighters than they would be at an ABAE club.

Do you agree with this? Obviously there are differences in energy requirements between amateur boxing and pro, but in terms of technique will you always be better off learning with pros than with a qualified amateur coach?

If you're interested the facility we were discussing is this one: http://www.contendergym.co.uk/thegym.php


I think it should go with what your goals are. How is an amateur going to progress if he just gets tooled everyday in sparring by a pro, who is presumable way more advanced than him. It'd be like beating up a retard.


Some people think training with people who are your own skill level is better, but I'm not too sure- the guy I learned to box from was WAY better than me at the start, and I think I progressed more rapidly because he was so much better and I had to adapt. He wasn't, however, a professional...

In the end, I think it's kind of like bodybuilding (yep, I said it). You go to a gym- you want to train with skinny metrosexual pussies? Or do you want to train around the biggest, strongest guys you can find and pick it up from them?

If you were asked if you'd would rather train around a bunch of new guys who've never laced up the gloves before, or with BHop, Manny, and Floyd.. which group do you think you would benefit more from? Who would you pick up more crap from? Who knows the game inside and out?

But, keep in mind that if this guy is trying to sell you private lessons, he'll say whatever the fuck he can. I don't know how well you know him though.


Nothing groundbreaking. Holds true for music, sports, weightlifting, poker.. You will improve faster if you train with individuals that are better than you. Having experienced people from the start to motivate and challenge you, spot your mistakes, answer questions, etc... is invaluable. You learn bad habits when you work with other people at or below your skill level, and those habits can take a very long time to break.


Someone who is more advanced is much less likely to cause injury and usually has a good feel for how hard they should push you. They also stop bad habits that can be detrimental for your development. I remember when I first started to work with black belts (in judo). I was thrown and footswept over and over and over again until I slowly started to purge myself of some of the bad habits I had developed working with other beginners.


a pro letting me hit them, and me capitalizing on a real weakness from someone of similar skill, is completely different, imo. now, sure, I'd love to train with Roy Jones Jr., I just don't know if a complete newb should jump right in with the sharks as it were.


To be fair I don't think he was trying the hard sell, I told him I used to train in combat sports and MA, but I didn't give him any reason to think I was planning on getting back into it. He was just majorly pissed at the way the ABAE didn't want him anywhere near amateurs. He genuinely thought he could produce better boxers, but they would not be allowed to compete unless they stopped training under him or turned pro.


Roundhead: That shit with the ABAE sounds pretty fucking stupid. Why would they do something like that anyways?


Them's the rules. You have to be registered with an ABAE club to compete in amateur competition.


Because boxing is among the most corrupt, money hungry sports in the entire world.


Once a fighter in any sport has a good feel for the basics I see no reason why they shouldnt try and train with the best available training partners available to them, weather quality amatures or pro's. Shit when I was getting a grasp of kick and thai boxing, I improved 10 times quicker when I was training with world class fighters and traveling to train with people who were alot better than myself. It seems a silly rule that could supress the level of amature fighters in the UK and detramentaly effect those who are planning to turn pro eventualy


I don't train boxing- but I've just started Judo.
There are more guys there who are black belts, and/or have been national champions than there is any-one else.
And needless to say I'm being smashed every session.
But I'm also learning stuff really, really quickly. Because I'm sick of being dropped hard, and subbed.

These guys have experience and know what works. But it would be nice for my ego/motivation if I could just get a throw in sometimes, haha! Maybe when a new white belt comes along!

So, in my experience, yeah, it could help you learn really quick.
But it could be a def. dampner on your spirits if you never get a hit in.
And amatuer competition would be a good experience of course.

It seems to me that the rules suck.


well if you're a true amateur then definitely don't step in with a pro unless he's going to just "defend"..

if you fight amateurs and know how to defend, then go for it.. i knew plenty of amateurs (including myself) who sparred with pros.. amateur boxing is a whole different ballgame.. point scoring & 2 minute rounds really change fight styles - so if you're going to be competing in amateurs, its best to practice under those parameters, but that does not mean you can't spar any pros or in 3 minute rounds.



Maybe my response is tainted by my one experience sparring with a dude about to go pro. He beat me so bad, and I outweighed him by 30 pounds. Damn Mexicans can box man! Very humbling.


i think you're better off training with a variety of skill levels....

i think training with someone slightly better than you gives you an achievable goal, and someone waayyy better keeps ya humble. also, helping training someone new and unskilled helps you, since you have to explain the technique, how to use it, etc.

maybe he meant a specific reason why pro's are better to train with, like you're less likey to get injured when your partner does something stupid? i dunno....